Nov 30, 2012

"Hobbit" Film World Premiere Day.

"Squash them into jelly!"said Bert the troll.
 I had to be in Wellington to support my daughter  with something and in the afternoon I took the opportunity to walk into town to experience the big Hobbit-fever. Spotted my brother and his team of Tolkien enthusiasts, too. He and his wife were having an awesome day, to put it mildly!! Fully booked with interviews and a surprise premiere ticket for him as well. Good on you mate!

Trolls in Wellington!
Tom, Bert and William about to squash Hobbit and Dwarves, but luckily it was a sunny day and they had been turned to stone!

Red carpet crowds.
You couldn't even get close, thousands of fans were lining up the half a kilometre long carpet, and had been for hours. Splendid weather for it! The atmosphere was very festive and good natured.

Mr.John Rhys-Davies and companion. There he was, just getting out of the entrance tent, and hardly anyone standing there, so I got a great picture.

Evangeline Lily. She will be in film 2, playing a new character as a  warrior elf. She looks very fit.
Good to have strong female characters, unlike the book.

Evangeline working the crowd. Very energetic and generous.
And that is a super tall girl standing there.

Mystery v.i.p.s looking serious. No I really don't know these people, but was wondering about the sensibility of taking a wee child in to see a 3 hour movie with scary scenes, starting after her bedtime....
(It's the mum and teacher-aide in me, can't help it, haha)
Is the guy with the leather jacket the same one that was on the oliphant in the big battle, L.O.T.R.3 perhaps?
Jack, please tell me...
Then I got tired trying to spot stars. They're just people you know...But all of a sudden I spotted a dozen hobbits laughing with the crowd. A chance to see them up close and check out their costumes, Fantastic!

Proudfeet! Where does the latex stop and the real feet start?

A jolly well-to-do hobbit. Marvelous coat!

Lovely soft pink dress with boning and lacing, petticoats and cap.

Embroidered skirt material, a laced waistcoat and an up-cycled vintage doily as a handbag.

Soft moss green velvet waistcoat, made to look as if it has been worn for years, with wrinkles put in on purpose. Marvelous brass buttons.

These feet looked very realistic, as if they'd seen much wear and calluses. The toes were not floppy and could move individually. Well, I think they were latex....Maybe they were real!

Yep, this was definitely the highlight for me!

Nov 26, 2012

Textile; historical and vintage

Framed Heirlooms.
     While I have enjoyed putting up "new" decoration in my gorgeous room, some things are more familiar. I found a good place out of the sun for my framed textile heirlooms, above all the family portraits, which I thought very fitting.
 The dress was given to me by my Oma (Nanna in dutch) when I was a little girl. She told me that I should look after it, because it was special. I often dressed a large doll in it.
Then I put it away carefully, and it migrated along with us. It is hand-made of a thin, sheer cotton with little white dots woven into the fabric and printed with little sprays of flowers.
The 2 butterfly-fairy prints are postcards she sent me as a child.
The beautiful lace, which is in one piece with edges of roses, belonged to my other grandmother, my Beppe (Nanna in frisian).
Oma as a young woman.
Here is a picture of my Oma as a young woman. She is wearing the original dress.
It was just after the war (WW2) and nearly everything was rationed, and you needed coupons to buy everything from food to clothing.
I'd say she would have had 2 children already, and her husband and her are not well off at all. And then, I've been told, she was given a dress by a relative which had been worn to a wedding.
You can tell she feels very pretty in it. After she had worn it, no doubt, on numerous occasions, perhaps to church as well, she made it into a little girls' dress for her third and fourth daughters.
And that's why I like it; she wasn't too proud to say no to a hand-me-down; wore it with pleasure; and used her creativity to re-make it for her little ones. She must have loved that dress, for she kept it, and gave it to her eldest grandchild decades later.

Paternal Grandparents.
Here a picture of my Pake and Beppe, all dossed up in their finery. I don't know if it was their own wedding or if they had been to one, but they are wearing buttonholes. My Beppe is even wearing a flower in her hair. This photo is from the 1930's, they married late. She was born in 1901 and gave birth to her 5th child and youngest son (my dad) when she was already 40 years old. My Pake ran the village butchery, just like his father.
I didn't get this photo until a few months ago, when my Dad moved to Thailand for a while. Those old photos taken from glass plate negatives were very sharp focused. With a magnifying glass you can see all sorts of little details.
And I suddenly noticed the lace collar on her dress coat. It is the same bit of lace I have framed!
I have always wondered how she wore it. I thought that she might have had a Frisian costume, and I'd always assumed it had been part of that. But no, far more bourgeois than that.

I love having 2 photos of my Grandmothers wearing the textile that now hangs in my room!
Super special bit of family history.

"Bush Baby" Oak Leaf Gnome.
This week I have been busy getting my little web-shops back up and running. They had been in-active for a while, but back to work I go!
This little Bushbaby and many of its' friends are up for sale!

Treasure Hunt Show Case
Thrift score of hand dyed embroidery floss.
One of my latest finds in an op-shop (Sallies!) and what a score! 69 unused skeins of the most beautifully hand-dyed embroidery cottons. Some from a local textile artist, and some from America. First I was trying to choose the prettiest colours, and then I thought, "what the heck, I'll buy them all!"
I paid about $20...
Delicious Goodness.

Fabricabrac Nov. 2012 Newtown.
I attended another Fabricabrac market at the beginning of November. Again in Newtown , Wellington. My love and I had a nice weekend in the city, we had managed to get cheap rates for a mystery hotel, which turned out to be same hotel we had recently stayed in, so very nice! We caught up with my brother and sister-i-l and also with our daughter, who cooked us dinner.

My humble stall.
I came with 2 big baskets of fabrics and sundry, and left with only 1, and some freshly bought fabrics, intended for making hobbit-cloaks out of soon.
Although the market was not as well attended as last time, probably because they had to change venue due to earth-quake building regulations on the original hall, it still got pretty busy.
The people that came were intend on buying and sewing.
 Or perhaps just hoarding...
Anyway I made some extra pocket money, and we had a great excuse for being in the capital!

A break in the crowds.

Nov 7, 2012

Dressing my New Room.

Mums' old doll.
It has been absolutely delightful to have been able to play and arrange my treasures in my "new" workroom/ diningroom.
Here is my Mums' old doll, she has no arms or legs left.  Made from a now brittle hard plastic, and marked "Minerva 5 Germany" on the back, her eyes are glass  and have real lashes. Once upon a time Mum was going to find replacement limbs for her, but it never happened. I like her moulded hair and the little smile, and Mum played with her as a child.

My lovely white Crown Lynn vases.
My husband and youngest daughter however, find her creepy! They have of course watched far too many horror movies together, she really isn't going to attack...

The 2 nautilus vases (crown lynn) also came from my Mum. They are a classic shape. She was a huge shell collector, and this sometimes extended to shell shaped objects.
Mum knew what she had; a great collectors pair. However, Dad wanted to chuck them out.
And there they are.
The large vase I found in a Petone opshop. In excellent condition, it was a shop without price-tags, you just took it to the counter and there they decided how much... I remember I paid $7.
My heart was racing with excitement over the find!

Just like a lollie shop.
This room is lovely and sunny in the morning. It shines into this dresser that I bought off my friend N. It  is made from blond oak and has mirrors in the back, reflecting light and doubling the collection of glass jars . I filled coffee jars with buttons, felt beads and fabric yoyos.

Up-cycled Lamp Before.
Here something I uhm-ed and ahm-ed over for 3 weeks before buying. A very "twee" lamp from the salvation army store. An awful shade, ground marble base and loads of fly-poop. Every week I'd pick it up, and put it down again. When it was still there at week 3, I considered it mine.

Up-cycled Lamp After.
I cleaned the marble base with warm soapy water and chucked out the horrid shade. A new bright lightbulb, and a $1 lampshade from a school gala last week completed the make-over.
I did consider painting the base in a bright turqoise to modernize it. But this is better.

Too cute!
Now I love it! And it gives a lovely soft pool of light.

The sunny morning-room.
A dirty, rickety stepladder was lying in the free-bin at the St.Vincent de Pauls-opshop, with a wonderful scruffy and scuffed paint-job in pastel colours. I cleaned it up, a new screw was put in by hubby, and there we have a new display stand.

Do you like the picture-rail with hooks? I saw the idea in an old homestead and wanted something like it in my workroom. This way you can shift pictures wherever you want them, and add stuff, without drilling or hammering more holes in the walls.
And guess what, they still sell wooden rails and seperate picture hooks in the mitre-10 shop!

Bossons plaster plaques from the late 50's.
Yes, well... I've had these for about 3 years. Tucked away for maybe one day when I would have a gorgeous vintage chique room.
Super uber-kitsch, plaster 3-d plaques from 1958-9, British Bossons, handpainted.
But they have a certain charm.
I hadn't even shown my Love, for fear of his horrified reaction.
He didn't notice them for an hour...
And was even complimentary about the colours. Phew!
Very polite of him...

Kitschy mirrors under the skylight.
The Mary and Child Jesus mirrors are shining under the skylight.
At least we both loved the funky radiance clock straight away when we saw it in a Wellington shop. It looks superb on the box that hides the electric switch board.
Don't the ceiling cornices look great! Stylish!!

Nov 1, 2012

Tutorial of Collage with magazine pictures.

You too can make your own fantasy collage critters! 
Since I have been having so much fun making my lovable little collaged people, I thought I'd share with you how I go about it;

*  An unused A4 size hardcover book, preferably bound, not glued. These are stronger. Go for an old cookbook, with pages that are good quality paper, but not too glossy.
*   Interesting magazine pictures. I look for national geographics ( animals), fashion magazine (spare arms, legs, big eyes, jewellery, shoes and dresses), home and gardening and parenting magazines. I keep the pictures in different categories.
I don't really use the gossip magazines, cheap quality paper and photos.
*  Glue. I use tacky craft glue, because it is not so wet, which can cause your paper to wrinkle. You can also use modge podge or yes glue.
*  Gesso, white. This hides what was originally on the page, and gives a chalky surface for the paint and glue to hold on to.
*  Acrylic paint and brush. I like to use 2 colours per page.
*  A soft graphite pencil that you can smudge with your finger.
*  Black waterproof pens, like a sharpie, or thinner.
*  White gel pen.

Recycle an old bound book.

{1}   So I find my book in the opshop for 50cents. I check to see if it is still sturdy and doesn't have hundreds of pages, which is a daunting amount to have to fill up.
I then rip some of the pages out of each "signature". A signature is the handful or so double pages sewn together.
I leave a number divisable by 2. Now I glue 2 pages together, this will make a sturdy background, but the book won't get too bulky.

{2}  I paint a good layer of gesso over the pages and let dry.

Paint and glue, like you are in kindy!
{3}  Paint the page with acrylic paint in 2 colours that you like/ don't like, (but not too dark) with wild brushstrokes. (This should only take a minute.)
No-one will come to tell you off !
 It's cool when 1 colour is still wet and mixes in with the 2nd colour. Bonus!
You now have a non-blank page looking back at you...

{4} Now for the fun bit while the paint dries, or longer. You get to make a critter with your pictures. Cut off heads and try new ones, give them weird clothes and hairstyles or hats and don't forget to use parts of something for totally unrelated purposes.
Use wrong scaled items, short legs and long necks, flowers instead of clothes, or a picture of fire for hair. I used 3 different dress parts to make a new outfit, 2 different hairstyles in 1, and seaweed because it looked outrageous : have a puzzle time. Give them new eyes last, this totally changes them.
Glue together.

{5}  Now add a border. I do rectangles of colours or textures, sometimes themed, sometimes not.
They don't have to fit close together, and your critter can even step outside of the border.

 {6}  Time to scratch around your critter with the soft graphite pencil for shading. Also the inside edge of the border. Then smudge with your finger. This gives your critter some depth and makes it pop from the page.
Sometimes I want something to lighten up instead, so I use a white water soluble pencil. I don't use soluble crayons for this, because the sharpie pen doesn't like going over the top of it.

 {7}  Get out the black sharpie pen, or other favourite permanent ink pen, and draw all around the critter, emphasizing features you want to stand out. Also draw around the edges of the border. Put a pattern in the bits where there is no border picture. Be careful around their eyes: polar bears' eyes got a bit dark, but I can fix that with white pen later. Seahorse girl got some extra curls too.
I did not put black around the pink ladies' lamps on her flower wand, because I wanted them to lighten up.

Adding white gel-pen to the black lines.
{8}   With the white gel-pen draw an inside line on top or next to the black line. Take care of smudging, cause it doesn't dry immediately.
Highlight areas where the light in the photo bounces off. Whiten their eyes. Highlight creases in clothes. My furry friends get tiny lines on their black outlines to make them even furrier. Make jewellery sparkle. Turn lights on.
Little dots are easy to draw and look great!


 And there you go, new collage critters in 8 easy steps. Don't forget to click on the pictures above to enlarge them.
Seahorse-girl and Polar-bear are friends and stick together. And Lady Spring always follows Winter-wolf.
Don't forget this is just for fun! Try to have some every day...